Glowing Chapel by Guy Lafleur: young and old adore the legend

Several thousand Guy Lafleur admirers gathered on Sunday at the Bell Centre, which had been turned into a burning chapel for the occasion, to pay homage to a legend and hero for more than a generation.

• Also read: “We were winners with Guy Lafleur,” says François Legault

“When I got to his coffin, I cried. Everyone was emotional, it’s a big part of Quebec that’s going,” Charles Simard said after saying goodbye to Blond Demon.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

The 69-year-old man, who has the Montreal Canadiens logo tattooed on one arm, didn’t hesitate for a second to get up at 3am to leave Jonquière in Saguenay to come to Montreal on this historic day.

Like him, thousands of Quebecers made their way to the Bell Center ice cream shop on Sunday.

Everywhere, everywhere, everywhere

From the four corners of Quebec to New Brunswick or Ottawa, not everyone questioned when it was time to pay one last tribute to this legend.


Many waited a few hours under the spring sun before entering the amphitheater. The majority of fans Le Journal spoke to had the opportunity to meet Guy Lafleur, a sign of the hockey player’s closeness to the crowd.


Screenshot, TVA Nouvelles

“Some say he was the one who signed the most autographs in Quebec history, it’s still not nothing,” Prime Minister François Legault said as he exited the burning chapel.

Guy LafleurGuy Lafleur | 1951-2022

Mar. 30, 1991 – An ovation for Guy Lafleur in his last game at the Forum, wearing the Nordiques shirt. Archive / Le Journal de Montreal

Guy Lafleur during his years at Le Canadien Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images

Guy Lafleur André Toto Gingras THE MONTREAL JOURNAL/QMI AGENCY

The Canadian Hockey Club presents the recipients of the 2017-2018 Guy-Lafleur Excellence and Merit Awards CHANTAL POIRIER / LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL

Guy Lafleur during the final game of his farewell tour at the Bell Center on Sunday December 5, 2010. Sébastien St-Jean / 24Heures / Agency QMI

September 11, 1971 – On the eve of his first training camp with the Montreal Canadiens, Guy Lafleur took his first opportunity to skate on the Forum rink. In the photo he is with Jean Béliveau. Archive / Le Journal de Montreal

Autographed photo of Guy Lafleur in his Quebec Remparts uniform courtesy

Guy Lafleur at the retirement evening of Guy Lafleur’s number 4 at the Slush Puppie Center in Gatineau on Wednesday 29th September 2021 MARTIN CHEVALIER / LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL

Guy Lafleur and his banner as part of the retirement evening of Guy Lafleur’s number 4 at the Slush Puppie Center in Gatineau on Wednesday 29th September 2021 MARTIN CHEVALIER / LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL

Guy Lafleur’s final game against the Quebec Nordiques on March 30, 1991 in Montreal Archive / Le Journal de Montreal

Sculpture by Guy Lafleur in bronze Archive / Le Journal de Montreal

Guy Lafleur, Pee-Wee Quebec Pee-Wee Tournament Collection, Modern Photo Fund

Guy Lafleur, Pee-Wee Quebec Pee-Wee Tournament Collection, Modern Photo Fund

Guy Lafleur and the trophies of Art Ross, Conn Smythe and Lester B. Pearson, Montreal Forum, 1976 Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images

Guy Lafleur, then a member of Team Canada, signs autographs during practice for the Canada Cup, Montreal 1976 Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images

Chicago Blackhawks Guy Lafleur and goaltender Murray Bannerman #30, Montreal Forum 1980 Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images

Guy Lafleur and goaltender Mike Palmateer of the Toronto Maple Leafs Dick Darrell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

March 7, 1975 – Guy Lafleur becomes the first player in Canadian history to score 100 points in a single season in an 8-4 win over the Washington Capitals Archive / Le Journal de Montreal

Guy Lafleur on the bench during Game 3 vs. Boston Bruins, Boston Gardens, 1977 Dick Raphael/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Announcing the first retirement of Guy Lafleur The Archives / The Journal of Montreal

The QMJHL restores Guy Lafleur’s number 4 on Thursday, October 28, 2021 at the Videotron Center in Quebec STEVENS LEBLANC / JOURNAL DE QUEBEC / QMI AGENCY

Like Mr. Simard, many supporters came out of the chapel very moved. In a relatively dark room, they were able to walk through a lighted red carpet before offering their condolences to the Lafleur family, who were present for much of the day.


“I had the opportunity to meet him several times and he gave me a lot of advice. He always made time to chat with us,” recalls Christian Jolin from Danville in Estrie.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

trophies issued

Several trophies won during his long National League career have been loaned by the Hockey Hall of Fame to mark the occasion, including the Stanley Cup, which is prominently displayed at the center of the memorial.

A helicopter in the colors of the CH was enthroned next to the trophy to underscore “Ti-Guy’s” passion for aviation.

A historic moment

If many fans came, it was also because of the historical side of the event: Guy Lafleur was the last living legend of the Montreal Canadiens and a hero to many Quebecers.

“We just lost the last great hockey legend in Quebec, we’ll never see players like that again,” said Marc Lottinville, 50, who was accompanied by his son Simon, 8.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

However, the latter, who has never known the blond demon on the ice, knows that he is witnessing an important day.

“My father showed me a lot of archives, I know he loved it very much,” he admits shyly.

On Monday, Ardent Chapel will continue from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The state funeral will take place on Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the Marie-Reine-du-Monde Cathedral.

A giant that touched all generations


Photo courtesy of The Canadian Press

His talent and boundless generosity made Guy Lafleur a man of the people, who expressed his admiration on Sunday.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“Guy was a hockey Picasso. He was an artist on skates that is irreplaceable. »

– Charles Simard, 69, from Jonquière with Laurène Tremblay and Éric Dubois (right).


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“We just lost the last great hockey legend in Quebec. We will never see players like that again. »

– Marc Lottinville, 50, from Sainte-Catherine, with his son Simon, 8.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“Even if we didn’t know him or see him play, we all know who Guy Lafleur is. It was important to pay homage to him and take part in this historic day. »

– Jérémy Scaire, 23, from Montreal (right).

“It’s a page of history that has just been turned. We don’t know if we’ll have the chance to relive one of those historic moments, so it was important to come, experience it and be a part of it. »

– Alexandre Leclerc, 23, from Montreal (left).


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“I have always admired Mr. Lafleur since I was a child, both as a hockey player and as a generous man. He really was a people player. »

– Barry Wedmark, 52, from Ottawa.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“I cried more when Guy Lafleur died than when my father died. He was a legend and a humble man who was an example to me and many others. »

– Christian Jolin, 64, of Danville.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“I saw him on the forums in 76, 77, 78, 79 when he was winning the Stanley Cups. We all wanted to be number 10 on the ice to be like him! He was the only one who made us stand up and scream in front of the TV. He made us experience emotions, he was spectacular. »

– Daniel Goyer from Montreal shows a souvenir to Valérie Plante.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“When Guy died, it was the end of Mount Rushmore in Quebec hockey. I’ve followed him as a fan his whole life, so at least I can say goodbye to him. »

– Jamie Duckett, 66, from Ottawa.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“When I was little and we played with my friends, we fought to be who Guy Lafleur would be on the ice. It has always been my idol and will remain so. »

– André Godin, Montreal, with Daniel Goyer (left).


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“He was a great player but a player at the level of the people because he was accessible. As a child, he came to see us at hockey school and spent time with us. He was almost a coach for us. Those are unforgettable memories. »

– Jocelyn Duteau, 58, of Cowansville, with Réjean Vallières (left).


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“My father gave it to us. It’s like we’ve seen his career and we know how it feels when people say “Guy! Guy! Dude!” in the stands. »

– Emrik Bourré, 11, from Montreal, with Karine Lavoie, Peyton and Daniel.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“I delivered Bleu-Blanc-Rouge to his restaurant. He was my childhood idol, it was important to see him. […] He was a simple, natural guy. You could talk to him like he’s known you for 20 years. »

– Sylvain Lapointe, 51, from Sainte-Adèle, with Andrew, Kevin and William.


Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

“Not only is he our best player, but also a person who is so human. He gave everyone autographs, he was very nice. We identify with him a little. »

– Jocelyn Beauvais, 67, Montreal.


“He was my first love, not my wife. I loved him before I loved anyone. »

– Tony Perry, from Toronto, accompanied by his nephew Robert.


“He was a star, not like today’s stars. He was a normal person. He spoke to you, looked you in the eye, asked you what you do for a living. »

– Mosé Persico, 60, host of CTV Montreal, who fought back tears.


” [Wayne] Gretzky is certainly the greatest player of all time, but he wasn’t as exciting as Lafleur. It wasn’t just her hair blowing in the wind, it was her attitude. His goals were all spectacular. »

– Stephen Shard, 61, from Vancouver, proudly wore a 1991 All-Star Game jersey in honor of Guy Lafleur.

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